Filmmaker Jeff Malmberg will attend in person for discussion!
Once upon a time, villagers in a tiny hill town in Tuscany came up with a remarkable way to confront their issues – they turned their lives into a play. Every summer, their piazza became their stage and villagers of all ages played a part – the role of themselves.
While neighboring villages turned to tourism for survival, Monticchielloʼs annual tradition kept the town together for 50 years, preserved in time.
Every issue the villagers have faced in their history – their near annihilation by Nazis, the womenʼs movement, the struggles of the townʼs independent farmers, the commercialization of their land – every major event has been debated and dramatized by the villagers in the center of town.
Leading this process is Andrea Cresti, a painter and sculptor descended from Italian royalty whoʼs devoted his life to helping his village tell their story. At 75, he still scales scaffolding to adjust lights and pulls the stage apart after midnight rehearsals. But with no qualified heir and a future generation more interested in Facebook than farmers, he struggles to keep their tradition and town from crumbling. “Spettacolo” tells the story of Teatro Povero di Monticchiello, interweaving episodes from its past with its modern-day process as the villagers turn a series of devastating blows into a play about the end of their world.
“Breathtaking. A powerful testament to the ability of art to make sense of the world” – Stephen Saito, Moveable Fest
“So poignant and is so intelligently told that it feels wrong, almost insulting, to call ‘Spettacolo’ charming, even if the movie is often delightful.”- Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
“Intensely curious and deceptively profound about the ways in which art both liberates and heals its creators, as well as traps and suffocates them” – Nick Schager, Daily Beast
About the Filmmakers:
Jeff Malmberg (director / producer / camera / editor) Jeff Malmberg is a documentary director and editor based in Los Angeles. In 2017, his feature documentary “Spettacolo” will world premiere at the SXSW Film Festival. The film is a portrait of a small Italian hill town that deals with conflict by turning the lives of its villagers into a play. The film is supported by a Guggenheim Fellowship and grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Sundance Documentary Fund, Creative Capital, and the Tribeca Film Institute. Jeffʼs debut film “Marwencol” won over two dozen awards, including two Independent Spirit Awards, Best Documentary of the Year from Boston Society of Film Critics and Rotten Tomatoes, and the Grand Jury Prize at the 2010 SXSW Film Festival.
Chris Shellen (director / producer / sound) Chris Shellen is a writer and filmmaker based in Los Angeles. She produced the award-winning documentary “Marwencol” and co-authored the companion art book “Welcome to Marwencol,” which was named one of the Best Books of 2015 by Amazon.com. She began her career as a film development executive based at a Paramount Pictures, and has worked in documentary, narrative and new media for over 15 years. Her directorial debut “Spettacolo” will world premiere at the 2017 SXSW Film Festival.
Matt Radecki (producer) Matt Radecki is part of the award-winning team that produced the documentary “Marwencol.” In 2006, Matt co-directed and edited the documentary feature “TV Junkie,” which won the Special Jury Award at the Sundance Film Festival and later aired on HBO. He also served as producer and co-cinematographer on the PBS documentary “Red White Black & Blue.” More recently, he edited “Whoʼs Back,” shot by DA Pennebaker, which appeared on the definitive Who DVD collection “Amazing Journey.” Matt is the cofounder of Different By Design, a Los Angeles-based production and post-production company.